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Public-private venture to take effect

By Sgt. David A. Bryant | | August 12, 2004

Hunt/Lincoln/Clark Family Communities has entered into a 50-year partnership with the station to form a public-private venture limited liability company to manage and maintain military housing.

The civilian partners will take control of housing Oct. 1 and will begin sending out the new lease contracts to military members by Sept. 15, said Jeanne Dziensuwski, PPV project leader, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, San Diego, Calif.

"There won't be much difference between the leases families have now with housing and the ones they will sign with Lincoln (BP Management, Inc.), the management part of the partnership," Dziensuwski said. "Families should see no difference between what they are allowed to do now and what they will be able to do after October first. All utilities except for cable and telephone will still be paid, and the pet policy will remain the same."

The station held two "Town Hall Resident Meetings" per day Aug. 4 and 5 to ensure the residents understand what to expect after the transfer to PPV and to give then a chance to ask questions. Col. James J. Cooney, station commanding officer, opened each meeting to make sure residents understand how concerned he is about the welfare of the families.

"The bottom line advantage to privatization is that our partners can renovate and replace units a lot faster than the normal military construction program can," Cooney said. "PPV is good business practice for both the Marine Corps and our partners. I don't think (Hunt/Lincoln/Clark) would have got into this if they didn't think it would make good business sense. I believe this will benefit our service members by giving them better quality housing in more family-oriented communities."

Having representatives from the civilian partners at the meetings to explain the process and answer questions was a big help, said Gunnery Sgt. Larry D. Johns, station education staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge.

"They basically gave me all the information I was looking for today, and I was able to have all of my questions answered," Johns said. "Since I live on Monegan Loop, (upcoming renovations and rebuilding) will not benefit me. But for some new 'gunny' coming in when all the houses have been rebuilt, he'll get his money's worth out of his (Basic Allowance for Housing)."

Questions asked by residents dealt with issues ranging from the schedule of renovation and demolition of areas to what the cost will be to clean the new houses upon vacating.

"When it comes to cleaning your house when you leave, there will be a big difference from what is now available," said Steven Browne, general manager, Lincoln BP Management Inc. "Right now, residents have to pay a standard $300 to $500 fee for cleaning. The company we use to turn over units will spend only the necessary time to ready the unit and then give us an invoice for what was done.

"Those who are conscientious about cleaning their residence before they leave may only have to pay a small amount just the amount we are billed. However, the resident will be responsible for the amount it costs to ready the unit and no more."

Other questions asked concerned the new lease residents will have to sign, regarding military clauses for permanent change of station orders, short-fuse orders and the possibility of getting out of the lease if the resident buys a home out in town.

"We're here specifically for military housing purposes and are not what you may typically find out in the civilian sector," Browne said about the lease contracts. "We're very understanding of military needs and are willing to work with people on a one-on-one basis."

As to where families will be moved during the rebuilding and renovation process, those who will be affected first have already been notified, said Dziensuwski.

"As each stage of construction progresses, those who will be affected will be notified in advance and a Town Hall meeting will be held to address specific questions," Dziensuwski said.

Some of the amenities residents can expect after construction include a new, centralized swimming pool in the housing area, shaded play areas for children, a children's fountain, gazebos with barbecue areas and two-car garages for the new houses, said Tom Sinton, executive vice president, Hunt Building Company, LTD.

"We will have 30 months to complete construction, beginning from October first," Sinton said. "It may be a little inconvenient at times for residents (because of construction), but we should have everything completed by Spring of 2007."

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